Bones Review: "The Bullet in the Brain"

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All the hype threatened to raise expectations unfairly high, but Bones delivered with an intense, compelling episode Thursday night, the first installment of its sniper story arc.

I loved the symmetry of "The Bullet in the Brain." The introduction of a new, murderous foil for Booth dovetailed with the end of the Gravedigger, who went out in epic fashion.

The first five minutes leading up to the opening credits were awesome, plain and simple.

Explosive Booth

Pushing Sweets' buttons like a true puppet master while offering no remorse for her monstrous acts, Deirdre Lovejoy's incarcerated child killer is as creepy as a TV villain gets.

Just as she arrived in court for her appeal, her head was blown off by an unknown gunman. The effects were such that I recoiled in horror even when I knew it was coming!

The Bones producers openly admit having fun with gross-out gags to open episodes, but the demise of Heather Taffet was all-time. Not just gory for the sake of it, but terrifying.

With the image of her headless corpse spewing blood outside the courthouse burning in our brains, viewers (and Sweets) tried to shake off the horror and make sense of it all.

Should we be glad Taffet is gone? Hodgins clearly was. Others had mixed feelings, or two conflicting thoughts at the same time. Cognitive dissonance, as Sweets informed us.

Regardless, the Gravedigger as the "victim" provided a surprisingly thought-provoking element to the episode as Booth made it his mission to track down this gun-for-hire.

Thanks to the Bones spoilers we've posted for months, we knew it was a sniper played by guest star Arnold Vosloo. In that respect we were steps ahead of our FBI hero.

Anyone who might've wanted Taffet dead was a suspect at the onset, including Max Brennan (Ryan O'Neal), who also stopped by. His alibi was being drunk ... naturally.

There's no way Max has the skill to pull this hit off anyway, Angela later concluded. It was a 1,500-yard shot from an apartment whose location she's able to triangulate.

The head hooker found in the tub was nearly as gruesome as Taffet's corpse, and shed new light on our sniper. This was no vigilante justice, a la Dexter. Just personal.

After paring down the list to elite snipers, Booth singles out the wrong one at first, but soon realizes that his man can be none other than his own mentor, Jake Brodsky.

Bones Crime Scene Photo

They come face to face when Booth learns of a tract of land Brodsky made under the name of Seeley Booth. He did this to lure Booth out there, for reasons unknown.

When they meet, he denies involvement, and doesn't really explain how Booth ties into this, although when he takes off running, that sort of implies he's responsible.

After a chase through the woods, Booth separates his shoulder and sprains his ankle after Brodsky blows up his own trailer (!) but still has a chance to take him out.

He doesn't take it. As Brodsky said, almost tauntingly, he won't do it if he's not 100 percent sure. Did Brodsky's denial, however bogus, plant just enough doubt?

The killer escapes, and will surely be heard from again.

It was a little odd that Booth and Evil Booth met face-to-face soon, and some of the details leading up to it were dubious, but the episode as a whole was strong.

Naturally, Good Booth was going to err on the side of caution, especially for a man he knows and wants to believe the best in. But he's probably regretting it now.

We're already looking forward to seeing this creep's next move, and for him to eventually meet his end at Booth's hands. But how many more will die before that?

A few closing thoughts and observations on this episode:

  • Should Angela have questioned Hodgins' morals when he says he's happy about the shooting, given what he went through personally because of Taffet?
  • I love how a confused Max flat-out asked what's going on with Brennan and Booth. It's as if Ryan O'Neal speaks for nine million Bones fans collectively.
  • Perhaps our favorite scene? Caroline helping Sweets snap out of it. She had a bunch of great moments this week, but none better than the last.

What did you think of last night's Bones? Comment away below!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (125 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Hey Guys...
I'm a Bones fan aswell, please help me.... What is the title of the song in The Bullet in the Brain episode for season 6 episode 11 its in the end og the episode where Tabbet is being taken away from the courtroom.... PLEASE HELP ME....


i honestly think that max was the sniper for the simple fact that he went out of his way to provide his alibi. booth mentions he was in mexico someone else says he was somewhere else and when he calls bones he tells her that he is in hawaii than says he is in maine. just saying.


I think Sweets was shook up because what Taffet said seemed to indicate that it was Sweets was the sniper's target, or at least it seemed that he would have been the target had Taffet hired her own sniper to get rid him. Taffet does say that Sweets' testimony would get her freed rather than keep her in jail. I think Hannah is someone that Bones' father knows, she seemed overly freaked out in previous episode when the meeting of Booth's son Parker is brought up. I think we may find out something about Hannah's past that either gets her killed or reveals her to be a bad guy which will hurt Booth and his big heart will bear some sort of scars from this. It is weird that the sniper Booth confronts on "Booth's land" thinks Booth can't get to him without a warrant, did someone other than the sniper put that land in Booth's name ? And yes Booth should have shot that sniper in the leg but I guess there is some reason Booth let him get away, he must be someone quite important from Booth's past and he has to catch him in one piece I guess. Angela might just be one of those girls who simply doesn't get big from pregancy, some girls can maintain their original body size, other than the exact and direct area of pregnancy of course.


A wonderful episode!!! The look Booth had on his face at the end of the show when he was looking at Bones through the window was priceless. And I love Bones' childlike smile listening to the present her dad got her. Looking forward to 2nd part of season 6!


I'm with little miss susie. Except I'm more excited to see that Taffet is finally gone for good, especially after what she said to Sweets. But I do want to see Bones and Booth actually get together. The HD picture quality of this episode (and all Bones episodes) on my DISH Network service was amazing though. As a DISH customer and employee I can safely say that DISH has more HD channels than any other provider and the quality is great.


Although I wouldn't want it to use this formula every episode, I enjoyed the episode being heavy on the drama/personal stuff this week. I t was refreshing to see Sweets get his own storyline that doesn't revolve around Daisy (no offense to her), and it's always nice to see the characters challenged. LOVE Caroline, as always. One thing I can't figure out though...this snipe dude has 2 legs, yes? Why not shoot him there? I mean really, the guy blew up his trailer, shouldn't that give him cause to shoot? But still...Loved the episode.


No doubt about it! Bones keeps getting better!! I can hardly wait until next week!!


I was looking for any mention of the final scene and what people thought of Booth's expression watching Bones listen to the conch shell? I couldn't figure out whether it was regret seeing her sweeter side and looking so lonely or whether the old feelings are resurfacing?


And Wendell aswell. THe two of them ar great additions to the show!


Am I the only one who wants Caroline to become a regular? I LOVE CAROLINE! She is one of the best characters on the show!

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